New Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has extended an olive branch to striker Iain Hume.
The diminutive centre forward was frozen out at Deepdale under previous manager Graham Westley.
He has spent the majority of this season at League One rivals Doncaster Rovers after agreeing a season-long loan at the Keepmoat Stadium.
It is understood that neither Hume nor Shane Cansdell-Sheriff, who was loaned to Rochdale in the January transfer window, can return to Deepdale this season under the terms of their loan agreement.
But with a year still left on the pair’s contracts, Grayson has not discounted seeing either of them back in a PNE shirt next season.
Grayson said: “I think their loan agreements say they can’t come back this season.
“But I know Humey very well and, like I say, everyone will get an opportunity.”
Hume has already announced on the social media site Twitter how pleased he is to see Grayson installed as PNE manager.
And he is fully expecting to be reporting back to Preston in the summer for pre-season training.
Meanwhile, having guided Blackpool, Leeds and Huddersfield out of League One in previous years, Grayson can see many similarities with what he has inherited at Preston to the situations he found himself in at his previous clubs.
“In terms of the potential of the club progressing, I would say there are a lot of similarities to the clubs I’ve managed before,” Grayson said.
“Obviously, we are a little bit further down the table than when I first went in at Huddersfield last year and when I joined Leeds.
“But the potential is there, the fan-base...the passion for the club is there.
“So there are many similarities.
“I know a lot about this club anyway from working over here in the past. Everybody knows Preston North End is a club with a great tradition and history.
“When you look around at the stadium, it doesn’t belong in League One.
“The club has underachieved this season, but hopefully we can be the ones to take the club back to where we all want it to be.”